Patients & Families

Words Women May Find Hurtful After Miscarriage

This post is not intended to knock people who have made some of these comments, I have mistakenly said these to others, before I had gone through a miscarriage. I have been told each of these things at some point during my losses, and although it can be difficult to know the right thing to say, and most people genuinely mean well. Here is why I find these statements so hurtful.

You can always have another! You can always try again.
Although it is true that many couples struggle with infertility, the end goal of getting pregnant is not the positive pregnancy test but the baby. Merely being able to get pregnant is not a comfort for most women who experience a miscarriage.
Many women can go on to try again after a miscarriage, and indeed many find comfort in that idea after time. However, for someone grieving a loss, one baby does not replace another. Each loss needs to be dealt with individually and the woman needs to think about trying again on her own time when she is ready.


Be grateful for the children you have!

Even if a woman has living children, they do not replace the baby she lost. Grieving does not mean you are ungrateful!


I know what you are going through.

If you have not lost a baby, please do not say this to a mother grieving a miscarriage. Just as with anything else in life, unless you’ve experienced it yourself, you simply do not know how it feels. However, if you have had a miscarriage, it can be reassuring to a woman grieving a miscarriage to hear your story.

 

It was not a real baby, just a fetus.
This comment is hurtful on so many levels! It was a baby to the mom – you feel the connection and the physical effects and your body changing from VERY early on.

 

At least you didn’t know your baby!
Any woman, no matter how far along, knew her baby in a very real way. It hurts like mad. Some of us love our babies from the minute we find out we are pregnant.

 

There must have been something wrong. It’s probably for the best.
Never speculate that a miscarriage was for the best. Miscarriages happen for many reasons, and you do not know what may or may not have caused this particular loss. The best for whom? Me? The now dead baby? You? The greater good of the nation? This does not make the person feel better.

 

It won’t happen again.
Everyone hopes that everything will be fine in the next pregnancy, but sometimes it isn’t. Women who have recurrent miscarriages often remember being reassured by others that everything would be fine next time, and sometimes this makes for an even harder time coping with the second loss.

 

After so many miscarriages you should be getting used to it.
I have had 10 miscarriages and each one was equally painful – no matter how far along I was. Each one was a baby and each one was important and wanted! Be brave, don’t cry.

 

Get on with your life. This isn’t the end of the world!
It is healthy and important to grieve.

 

I know how you feel.
While you may have been through a similar situation, share that but don’t assume you know how they feel. Please also watch what you are comparing their loss to. Don’t say they lost their dog or you had an abortion and know how they feel. While both of those are grief-causing situations, it can be insensitive to compare to a woman mourning the loss of a very wanted pregnancy and baby.

 

Remember, when a woman is going through a miscarriage, she is mourning over:

  • The death of her child and the fact that she will not get to hold her child or meet her baby face to face
  • The knowledge that she will not get to watch her child grow up, that she will not get to see her child’s personality develop or see her child achieve his/her dreams
  • A sense of failure. I haven’t met a woman yet who’s miscarried and hasn’t wondered if it was somehow her fault. She failed, her body failed, she’s being punished for a past mistake, she shouldn’t have eaten this or that – all of these thoughts can easily play through the grieving mother’s mind. 

 
6 SIMPLE WORDS TO SAY: I AM SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

 

 

 by Devan McGuinness
Adapted from unspokengrief.com